It’s been quite a journey from being a third world country, grappling to cope up with its 100’s of ethnicities and 1000’s of religions to being the biggest democracy in the world. India’s story of breaking free from the shackles of the British Rule in 1947, to become the largest democracy has not been a journey full of roses.
The Indian Army, which since the turn of 2017 has lost 26 precious lives in the line of duty, due to rising incidents of violence in the valley. The COAS sounded a stern warning to the militants and their sympathisers stating that any and all persons supporting and harbouring militants would be considered as Anti-Nationals.
And while militancy is not the only issue plaguing Kashmir, the locals have also been a menace for the forces stationed there to protect them. Stone pelting unarmed police forces has been a common phenomenon over the last few years and its only getting worse with each passing day. The demonetization drive brought in little respite to the forces, considering that the youths were paid counterfeit money by their Pakistani Masters, but the problem by and large still remains untackled.
What is more surprising is that politicians from various folds have come out in support of the separatists and have rather condemned the army for its strong stance against the miscreants. JKLF leader Yasin Malik, who enjoys the hospitality of the Indian government to spew venom against India, inciting hate amongst the Kashmiri’s, seemed rattled by the stand of the Indian Army. The separatist leader who also earns his bread by living in India stated that “Stone Pelting” is a form of Non-violent protest by the Kashmiri locals. In addition to this, Mr. Malik also claimed that Kashmiri’s did not believe in the Indian Constitution since Kashmir was a disputed Territory.
Only to correct him hereinafter, it is pertinent for all to know the laws by which they are governed and not be ignorant about the same.
And hence it is necessary that people like Yasin Malik are shown the rule book (Constitution) which they seem to only selectively cite and practice.
Background to the History of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K)
Immediately after Independence, the instrument of accession was signed by Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah for the people of J&K and by Mehr Chand Mahajan, the Prime Minister of Kashmir representing Maharaja Hari Singh on 27th October, 1947.
Although, the state had principally become a part of the Indian Union on 2 major conditions, they being:
1. State possessing much greater autonomy and powers than other Indian states;
2. Centre’s limited jurisdiction within the state and its administration.
And it was because of these 2 conditions that, Article 370 was crafted in the Indian Constitution granting special powers and features to the State. Article 370 (1) (b) limits the power of the parliament to make laws for the state of J&K. For the convenience of the reader, it is hereby clarified at the outset that J&K is governed by their own constitution (which came into force on 26th January, 1957) drafted by its Constituent Assembly.
But in addition to their own constitution, the Fundamental Rights contained in Part III of the Constitution (Article 12 to 35) apply to the citizens of J&K as well, in the same way as they do to the rest of the citizens in the Indian Union, with certain modifications.
Article 19 of the Constitution of India and its applicability
If protesting is a right which the citizens have under the Constitution of India, there are reasonable restrictions placed on such freedoms too. And no, peaceful protests cannot include stone pelting and definitely not on the forces which are meant to protect those citizens.
If Mr. Yasin Malik and his followers do not believe in the constitution of India, then they do not have any right to protest against any alleged atrocities in the Valley, since Jammu & Kashmir was, is and will be an integral part of the Indian Union.
The constitution grants special autonomous powers to the J&K constituency but that would not include addition of violent stone pelting protests.
Kashmir is the head of the Indian republic, both literally and figuratively. India has bled through a thousand cuts since time immemorial with the most recent ones being Pakistan and Bangladesh. And any further attempts to divide the nation and its people would be met with the strongest of the opposition. There is no two way for India and Indians, when it comes to Kashmir and people like Yasin Malik should know this by know.
The time for the Indian Army to curb this anti-national resistance has come, lathis and pellet guns will be substituted with real guns and bullets and not a single anti-national hate mongering pest will be spared. Let this be a return gift to all the stone pelting enthusiasts. The Indian Army is more than willing and capable to escalate the process to help the stone pelting youth meet their Hoors.
Considering Indians have a very short memory, it is crucial not to forget the supreme sacrifices by Major Dahiya, Major Akshay Girish Kumar, Major Kunal Gosavi amongst many others.
“Agar tumhaare gali gali se Burhan Wani niklega toh humaare har gali me uss Burhan ko maarne k lie 10-10 Major Dahiya niklenge.”